|Frequency||Weekly / Monthly|
|Format||Paper and online magazine|
80,000 (Connect! On)
|Publisher|| ASCII (1986–2000)|
Kadokawa Game Linkage (2019-)
|First issue||June 1986 (as Famicom Tsūshin)|
Famitsu, formerly Famicom Tsūshin, is a line of Japanese video game magazines published by Kadokawa Game Linkage (previously known as Gzbrain), a subsidiary of Kadokawa. Famitsu is published in both weekly and monthly formats as well as in the form of special topical issues devoted to only one console, video game company, or other theme. Shūkan Famitsū, the original Famitsū publication, is considered the most widely read and respected video game news magazine in Japan. From October 28, 2011 the company began releasing the digital version of the magazine exclusively on BookWalker weekly.
The name Famitsū is a portmanteau abbreviation of Famicom Tsūshin; the word "Famicom" itself comes from a portmanteau abbreviation of "Family Computer" (the Japanese name for the Nintendo Entertainment System)—the dominant video game console in Japan during the 1980s.
Login ( ログイン ), a computer game magazine, started in 1982 as an extra issue of ASCII , and later it became a periodic magazine. Famicom Tsūshin was a column in Login, focused on the Famicom platform, and ran from March 1985 to December 1986 issue. It received a good reception, so the publisher decided to found the magazine specialized for it.
The first issue of Famitsū was published on June 6, 1986 as Famicom Tsūshin.It sold less than 200,000 copies, despite 700,000 copies printed. The major competitor was Family Computer Magazine launched in July 1985 by Tokuma Shoten. Famitsū's editor found many readers had multiple game consoles, and they thought it would be better if the magazine covered various platforms. Increasing contents and the page count gradually, the magazine was published three times per month instead of semimonthly publication. On July 19, 1991 (issue #136) the magazine was renamed to Shūkan Famicom Tsūshin and issues were published weekly thereafter. Alongside the weekly magazine, a monthly version called Gekkan Famicom Tsūshin was also published.
Hirokazu Hamamura, an editor-in-chief (1992-2002), felt the beginning of a new era when he saw a private demonstration of Final Fantasy VII in 1993. He thought the name Famicom Tsūshin should be refurbished. At the start of 1996 (with issue #369) the magazines underwent another name change, truncating their titles to Shūkan Famitsū . The name Famitsū had already been in common use.and Gekkan Famitsū
The magazine was published by ASCII from its founding through March 2000 when it was sold to Enterbrain, which published it for 13 years until their parent company Kadokawa published it from 2013 to 2017. Since 2017, Kadokawa's subsidiary Gzbrain has been publishing the magazine, while in 2019 the company changed its name to Kadokawa Game Linkage.
Famicom Tsūshin initially focused on the Famicom platform, but later it featured multi-platform coverage. Famicom Tsūshin was renamed to Famitsū in 1995. Shūkan Famitsū is a weekly publication concentrating on video game news and reviews, and is published every Thursday with a circulation of 500,000 per issue.Gekkan Famitsū is published monthly.
Famitsū magazine covers alternately feature pop idols or actresses on even-numbered issues and the Famitsū mascot, Necky the Fox in odd-numbered issues. Year-end and special editions all feature Necky dressed as popular contemporary video game characters. Necky is the cartoon creation of artist Susumu Matsushita, and he takes the form of a costumed fox. The costumes worn by Necky reflect current popular video games. Necky's name was chosen according to a reader poll, and it derives from a complex Japanese pun: "Necky" is actually the reverse of the Japanese word for fox, キツネ, and his original connection to Famicom Tsūshin is intended to evoke the bark of the fox, the Japanese onomatopoeia of which is コンコン . Necky makes a cameo appearance in Super Mario Maker .
Famitsū publishes other magazines dedicated to particular consoles. Currently in circulation are:
Famitsū spin-offs that are no longer in circulation include:
Video games are graded in Famitsū via a "Cross Review" in which a panel of four video game reviewers each give a score from 0 to 10 (with ten indicating the best game). The scores of the four reviewers are then added up for a maximum possible score of 40. From the twenty-four games awarded with a perfect score as of 2017 [update] , three are for the Nintendo DS and five are for the Wii. The PlayStation 3 also has five games with a perfect score and the Xbox 360 has four, with both consoles having four titles in common. The others are for different platforms with only one title each. Franchises with multiple perfect score winners include The Legend of Zelda with four titles, Metal Gear with three titles, and Final Fantasy with two titles. The most recent game to receive a perfect score is Death Stranding .
As of 2016 [update] , all but two games with perfect scores are from Japanese companies, nine being published/developed by Nintendo, four by Square Enix, three by Sega, three by Konami and one by Capcom. As of 2016 [update] , the only two completely foreign games to achieve a perfect score are The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Bethesda Softworks and Grand Theft Auto V , from Rockstar Games. Other foreign games that have achieved near-perfect scores are L.A. Noire , Red Dead Redemption , Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV – all four of which came from Rockstar Games; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 , Call of Duty: Black Ops , and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – all from Activision, although published by Square Enix in Japan; and Gears of War 3 from Epic Games. ( Kingdom Hearts II is a joint effort between Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios.)
Famitsu administers the Famitsu awards. Video games receive a number of different awards in categories like Innovation, Biggest Hit, Rookie Award, Highest Quality, etc. One or two "Game of the Year" awards are granted as the top prize. Top prize winners are determined by a combination of critical and fan review scores as well as sales figures.
UK trade magazine MCV and Famitsu have an exclusive partnership which sees news and content from each magazine appear in the other.
Arc System Works Co., Ltd. is a video game developer and publisher located in Yokohama. Founded by Minoru Kidooka in 1988, the company is known for arcade 2D fighting game franchises, including Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, as well as other licensed-based fighting games for Dragon Ball and Persona 4.
Enterbrain (エンターブレイン), formerly Enterbrain, Inc., is a Japanese publisher and division of Kadokawa Future Publishing founded on January 30, 1987 as ASCII Film Co., Ltd.. Magazines published by Enterbrain are generally focused on video games and computer entertainment as well as video game and strategy guides. In addition, the company publishes a small selection of anime artbooks. Enterbrain is based in Tokyo, Japan, with a paid-in capital of 410 million yen. Enterbrain's current president is Hirokazu Hamamura.
Whomp 'Em, the North American version of the Japanese game Saiyūki World 2: Tenjōkai no Majin (1990), is a platform video game released on the NES in March 1991.
Summer Carnival '92: Recca, commonly referred to as Recca, is a 1992 scrolling shooter video game developed by KID and published by Naxat Soft for the Family Computer.
Famicom Wars is a wargame produced by Nintendo. It was released on August 12, 1988 for the Family Computer in Japan. It was later re-released on Virtual Console. It is the first game in the Wars series.
Hect (ヘクト) or Hector was a Japanese video game developer and publisher. It had a Virtual Boy game in development, entitled Virtual Battle Ball; however, it was eventually canceled.
Thunder Force III (サンダーフォースIII) is a 1990 scrolling shooter game developed by Technosoft for the Sega Genesis. It is the third chapter in the Thunder Force series. It was then retooled into an arcade game named Thunder Force AC. In 1991, Thunder Force AC was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System under the title Thunder Spirits.
Assault Suit, also known as Assault Suits, is a series of futuristic robotic war video games developed by NCS featuring soldiers manning the eponymous gigantic humanoid mecha. Spanning the course of 15 years and beyond, the games would be cross-distributed, cross-published and developed between the U.S. and Japan. It would be known as one of the most challenging series to follow due to the drastic changes from game to game.
Front Line is a military-themed run & gun shooter game released by Taito for arcades in 1982. It was one of the first video games to feature a ground combat theme and grenades, a precursor to many similarly-themed games of the mid to late 1980s. The original arcade version of Front Line is controlled with a joystick, a single button, and a rotary dial that can be pushed in like a button. The single button is used to throw grenades and to enter and exit tanks, while the rotary dial controls and fires the player's gun.
Road Blaster (ロードブラスター) is a 1985 interactive movie video game produced by Data East for the arcades.
Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes is a role-playing game developed by Nihon Falcom. It is the sixth game in the Dragon Slayer line of games, and the first in The Legend of Heroes series.
Rendering Ranger: R2 is a 1995 side scrolling action video game developed by Rainbow Arts and published by Virgin Interactive for the Super Famicom. It was released only in Japan, and has gone on to be one of the rarest Super Famicom titles in existence.
Kendo Rage, known in Japan as Makeruna! Makendō, is an action video game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Super Famicom by Datam Polystar. Seta U.S.A. published the English version.
Susumu Matsushita is a Japanese manga artist known for his unique American comic–influenced design. His most famous works are the designing of the mascot Neppe of Orix Buffaloes, Motor Toon Grand Prix, Hudson's Adventure Island series, Monkey Magic and the Maximo: Ghosts to Glory concept arts.
Princess Minerva is a role-playing video game developed and published by Riverhillsoft for the NEC PC-9801 in 1994 in Japan only. An original video animation by Group TAC was originally released by Toho in May 1995 in Japan; it was later released also in the United States. The extended franchise also includes a manga series, an illustrated serial novel, and other media.
Tetris 2 is a video game published in 1993 and 1994 by Nintendo for the Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
The Japanese video game magazine Famitsu assigns scores to video games by having four reviewers each give a score from 0 to 10. The scores of the four reviewers are then added up for a maximum possible score of 40. From the twenty two games awarded with a perfect score as of 2016, three are for the Nintendo DS and five are for the Wii. The PlayStation 3 also has five games with a perfect score and the Xbox 360 has four, with both consoles having two titles in common. The others are for different platforms with only one title each. Franchises with multiple perfect score winners include The Legend of Zelda with four, Metal Gear with three, followed by Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy with two.
Willow is a 1989 2D action role-playing game developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is based on the 1988 film of the same name and is the second title Capcom released based on Willow that year, the second being an unrelated side scrolling arcade game. The version of Willow released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Famicom is an adventure game in the vein of The Legend of Zelda.
Cocoron is a 1991 video game developed by K2 and published by Takeru for the Famicom. A version for the PC Engine was announced, but was not released.
Hoshi wo Miru Hito is a 1987 Japanese video game for the Famicom home console. Developed by Another and published by HOT B, it is based on the 1984 video game Psychic City. The game is a science fiction role playing video game where players use psychic powers to defeat enemies.